30
votes
15answers
108k views

Does active dry yeast really expire?

I was cleaning out my spice cabinet and deep in the back I found two packages (e.g., six envelopes) of active dry Red Star yeast that expired in March 2009, 15 months ago as of writing this question. ...
24
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do some recipes recommend Kosher salt?

Is it healthy or more tasty?
12
votes
2answers
3k views

How to throw a pizza dough?

If there are different instructions for different sizes, those would be appreciated as well.
11
votes
3answers
6k views

Can I sharpen a knife with sandpaper?

So I was thinking, instead of purchasing a dedicated (and expensive) whetstone with limited coarse(ness?) range, why not use patches of sandpaper in increasing grit numbers (getting finer), stretched ...
11
votes
3answers
23k views

Rule of thumb for cooking or baking different quantities?

I often want to cook double quantities from that stated in a recipe - say, twice the quantity of pasta bake or casserole (all in one dish), or two cakes instead of one (in separate tins). Is there a ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

Why do my pizzas get such hard crusts?

I usually buy ready made pizza base and use it for baking pizzas. All of my pizzas get a very hard and crispy outer crust. Why so? I thought of brushing some oil on the pizza base before I bake it but ...
20
votes
10answers
88k views

How to quickly soften brown sugar

I had some brown sugar that didn't get properly sealed and so now it's solid as a rock. What's the quickest way to soften it up and get rid of the clumps? Folks have suggested leaving an apple with ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

How does the way that I cut my garlic affect the taste of my food?

I've seen recipes that called for coarsely chopped garlic and recipes that called for finely chopped or minced garlic. What affect does that cut have on the final taste of my dish? What about crushed ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Does putting salt in coffee really remove bitterness?

I have seen people claim that putting salt in coffee enhances the flavour or removes bitterness. Example. Does this really work? If it does, how does it work? Is there something chemical going on, or ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Quinoa in a Rice Cooker?

I’ve recently discovered the loveliness of Quinoa, and the joy of buying it in bulk at Costco, so I’ll be making a lot of it in the near future. I’m wondering if I can use my rice cooker to make the ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

Is it possible to make cookies without creaming the butter?

I love to make some cookies but have limited kitchen appliances. I don't want to cream the butter and sugar by hand -- I did that before and it was not fun! Is it possible to make good cookies ...
9
votes
6answers
32k views

Is pyrex safe to use on a gas burner?

There seems to be conflicting views on whether a pyrex dish can be used on a gas burner. Can anybody here provide a definitive answer?
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the secret behind “always soft” ice cream?

Since humanity discovered the ice cream in a frozen cave in Antarctica, it was so hard you had to wait 15-20 minutes to be able to use it as food and not as a blunt object for a Hitchcock's plot. ...
7
votes
10answers
29k views

How to clean a clogged Misto oil sprayer/spritzer?

I use a Misto oil spritzer. You fill it up with oil and pump it up and spray a pan with it. It's gotten clogged up so that it just squirts a steady stream of oil (not a spray). Any ideas how to ...
7
votes
3answers
55k views

How long will homemade salad dressing stay good in the fridge?

How long can I keep salad dressings that I made? Since this is probably affected by what it's made up of, let's say we're talking about different salad dressings made from a combination of the ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Is there a general algorithm for calculating the amount of time to roast meat for?

Often when you buy meat from the store it comes with guidance on how long the meat needs to be roasted, presumably calculated as a function of its weight. Is there some well known general algorithm ...
21
votes
4answers
767k views

How long will uncooked chicken keep in the fridge?

My wife is obsessed about not leaving uncooked meats in the fridge longer than a day (esp. Chicken). If we buy chicken breast and we're not going to use them the next day, she'll put them in the ...
19
votes
4answers
14k views

Does meat need to be washed before preparation?

I don't even remember where I have learned that, but I've always thought it common knowledge: Before a piece of meat gets seasoned, or malleted for tenderizing (sorry, don't know the English word for ...
19
votes
2answers
13k views

Why did my Turkey Stock turn into gelatin?

We took our left-over turkey carcass and parts and simmered them for a few hours with water in a pot with some herbs and veggies. After removing the solids, and separating the fat, we placed it in ...
17
votes
9answers
16k views

Fresh basil storage

How should fresh basil be stored? The packaging suggests that the optimal temperature is around 50°F, but I can't think of anywhere in an average kitchen at that temperature. A pantry is too warm, and ...
15
votes
5answers
9k views

How can I bake normally fried foods?

A lot of frozen, convenience foods are foods that are traditionally fried can be prepared by baking. I'm thinking of, fish sticks, french fries, tator tots, jalapeño poppers, etc. I'm lousy at deep ...
13
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the purpose of tempering chocolate?

What is the purpose of tempering chocolate? If I'm dipping something in chocolate, can I get by with just melting the chocolate?
13
votes
6answers
22k views

Should maple syrup be stored in the refrigerator?

Is there any reason to store maple syrup in the refrigerator? It tastes better when it's a little warmer.
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Garlic Infused Oil—Safety

I recently received a bottle of garlic and herb infused olive oil as a gift. It came in a fancy bottle with a cork on top. I tried it out last night and it's terrific. I've heard about the dangers of ...
10
votes
5answers
943 views

What foods are high in umami?

What foods are high in umami ("savoriness") and how can I cook them to maximise the umami taste?
9
votes
2answers
38k views

What is meant by “neutral” oils?

What is meant by "neutral" oils? Conversely, what would make an oil not neutral? When is it important that the oil be neutral (or not)?
8
votes
4answers
39k views

What oil is best for seasoning a cast-iron skillet

I just cleaned up a rusty cast-iron skillet and I would like to season it. The thing is that I don't have lard handy and I'm wondering whether any of my other oils and fats would do. I have: canola, ...
7
votes
1answer
309 views

Why would a pressure cooker shorten a braise time?

Say I'm braising a pork shoulder. As i understand it, the point is to maintain a temperature that will melt collagen, while staying below a temperature that would toughen the meat. A good temp for ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the lowest possible temperature for stewing meat?

If you want to stew meat low and slow, how low can you go and still get collagen break-down? And would there be any advantage to stewing at the lowest possible temperature?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How many different varieties of 'pancake' are there?

I'm not talking about ingredient differences like adding blueberries or chocolate chips, or even buttermilk or cooked pumpkin to the batter ... How many fundamentally different regional types of ...
6
votes
3answers
27k views

How to convert a recipe calling for active dry yeast into rapid rise yeast?

I have a recipe for rolls where the first stage calls for 2 packages active dry yeast, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1/2 cup warm water to be mixed until the yeast is proofed, and then 1/4 cup cubed butter is ...
5
votes
7answers
1k views

Buying my first set of pots and pans

I have NO idea what I'm doing :). I'm looking to buy some pots/pans for my appartment (just moved out). Considering these: ...
4
votes
1answer
198 views

What causes changing blue and purple pigments in food?

I've noticed that many foods, such as cabbage, garlic, and ginger, either turn blue or purple in certain conditions, or that, like purple string beans, they lose these colors when cooked. Why is this? ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What determines whether a sherbet will set or not?

A couple nights ago I was watching the Food Network show Chopped and one of the contestants made sherbet. Because the contestants are limited to 30 minutes to prepare their desserts, the contestant ...
2
votes
1answer
138 views

Can vegetable juices stop bread from rising?

I used vegetables juice for the additional liquid ingredients in milk bread, and it didn't rise. I think there is something in vegetables juice that killed the fermentation of dough. This is a study, ...
2
votes
2answers
373 views

Is this video showing an exception of the common wisdom that you shouldn't cook with EVOO?

I know this question has been discussed here before, such as this question. But I am asking it again to share the video in this blog post. The video shows how you use the extra virgin olive to cook, ...
45
votes
9answers
2k views

Once a month cooking

I've heard of "once a month cooking" or "freezer cooking," where you basically spend a day cooking and fill your freezer with the next month's worth of food. This could especially come in handy when ...
82
votes
10answers
59k views

Why use milk in scrambled eggs?

I've seen many recipes for scrambled eggs with and without milk / cream / half and half So what does the milk do? The only difference I can see is color - without the milk the eggs are a brighter ...
19
votes
11answers
218k views

How to make extra crispy and crunchy breading like KFC?

I'm wondering how I would go about making extra crispy chicken breading like they do at many places like KFC and the like. Is there a certain ingredient that makes the breading like that? Any ...
22
votes
19answers
207k views

Making white rice more tasteful [closed]

I am very new to cooking. I can boil rice, but it tastes too bland. Is there anything else I can add to it, to make it taste better?
34
votes
8answers
73k views

Stock vs Broth - What's the difference in usage?

I've now learned (from this site) that broth and stock are not the same product (see this great answer). So, in any given scenario, why should one use stock rather than broth, or vice versa? i.e. ...
33
votes
18answers
54k views

Caffeine content of cold-brewed coffee: higher or lower than hot-brewed?

I recently rediscovered the joys of cold-brewing coffee. (One level cup of rough-ground beans, 4-1/2 cups of cold water, steeped overnight and strained, produces a rich coffee concentrate. A shot or ...
30
votes
6answers
3k views

What's the right way to hard boil eggs?

I find I always have trouble scaling the amount of time the eggs should be boiled, cooled, etc. for different-sized batches of hard-boiled eggs. I've heard a variety of "folk lore"-type rules for how ...
19
votes
9answers
19k views

Techniques to get a nice golden-brown crust on bread

How do I make sure the crust of a baguette, etc. turns out a nice golden-brown when baking?
20
votes
6answers
5k views

Achieving perfection via manual drip-brew coffee method

Every time I make coffee it seems to taste different, and I've found there is a lot more room for error with the manual drip-brew method than using a Moka coffee maker or an automatic drip-brewer. ...
15
votes
1answer
571 views

A definitive method of dicing an onion

It bugs me that I've just sort of self-taught a method of turning a whole onion into a nicely diced pile. I'm going to assume my method is inefficient and wasteful. Could someone explain how I should ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I safely improve my cutting technique

I'm not bad with knives if I should say so myself. My cutting speed is definitely above average, but I've have never been trained by professionals. Most of what I know, I have picked a long the way, ...
35
votes
12answers
12k views

Why should I soak beans before cooking?

Every recipe says I should soak beans in water overnight before cooking. Why? I did some experiments. I have tried soaked and unsoaked beans from the same batch. There was no difference in cooking ...
23
votes
12answers
36k views

How to stop meatballs falling apart when frying

I tried cooking meatballs as a change to what I usually cook but I found that they didn't stay together when being fried. I made the meatballs with about 500g of mince, a chopped onion, some herbs ...
22
votes
5answers
57k views

Why let dough rise twice?

I'm just wondering, what's the point of letting dough rise twice? I've seen a bunch of recipes in the form: Mix dough together and knead Let it rise Knead again Let it rise again Why do they do ...

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